Dating isn’t easy and for marijuana enthusiasts still dealing with black market stigma, it can be even harder. But with the help of some recently developed apps, love in the time of legalized marijuana may have become easier.
As public attitudes toward online dating and legalized cannabis shift, a new opportunity to openly connect members of the marijuana industry has arisen.
High There is a mobile dating app for people involved in the cannabis industry, or anyone interested in meeting people from the marijuana community. The app launched in February and has since been downloaded by 150,000 users and is available free on Apple and Android devices worldwide.
The app’s slogan, “You have more friends than you think,” reflects its mission to create an inclusive and open environment for marijuana enthusiasts.
High There co-founder and chief executive Todd Mitchem said he had the idea for the app after he was criticized by a Tinder date for his marijuana use.
“There is a need in the cannabis industry for a number of things,” Mitchem said. “One of those is social connectivity.”
The app functions similarly to Tinder, allowing users to swipe through profiles to find matches. Mitchem said the app sees about 25,000 to 35,000 matches, or High There connections, a day.
Additionally, High There users can add a 420-character “My Story” to elaborate on who they are and the type of relationship they are looking for.
“It’s a chance to tell why you’re on the app,” Mitchem said. “…It gives users more flexibility, they are able to talk about their love of cannabis or their love of food. It has the swiping capability but adds a whole new level.”
Launched on April 20, 2014, the website My420Mate calls itself “the Cupids of Cannabis” and tells its users to “plant your seed and watch your love grow.” The site introduced a mobile app on the same date of this year, allowing users in any location to create a profile and browse others with similar interests.
The site currently has 50,000 users in all 50 states and 89 countries.
“It’s just like any other dating site,” said My420Mate co-founder Jay Lindberg. “It’s just for a niche community of people from all walks of life who appreciate cannabis.”
Lindberg said that since the website does not handle marijuana in any way, there are no legal concerns for operating in states that have not legalized medical or recreational cannabis. He added that non-cannabis users are welcome on the site.
“There are a lot of people in the cannabis industry, but they don’t necessarily use cannabis themselves,” Lindberg said. “By using the site you ignore that awkward conversation two or three dates in where you say, what I really do for a living is grow marijuana.”
The site also organizes meet-ups for users in major cities. Lindberg said there have been two so far in Los Angeles, with another planned in Denver.
Lindberg said that while he doesn’t have exact statistics on the success rate for users, he does know of one marriage that has resulted from the site.
Though these services can help marijuana enthusiasts find love or companionship, ultimately, they are another step in the direction of universal acceptance of cannabis use, said Mitchem.
Public opinion has been shifting toward support for marijuana legalization. About 53% of the 1,500 Americans surveyed in a 2015 Pew study said that marijuana should be legal, up from 32% in 2010.
Twenty-three states have legalized medical marijuana, and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis.
Dating services, meanwhile, have become an industry worth about $2.2 billion, according to research firm IBISWorld. As of 2013, 11% of Americans have used online dating websites or apps, and 23% of that segment has entered into a marriage or long-term relationship with someone they met through the service, according to a Pew Research survey.
The survey also found that about 59% of the 2,252 Americans polled agreed with the statement that “online dating is a good way to meet people,” up 15% from 2005.